Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World


Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393609731
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 384
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The dramatic, myth-shattering story of how Machiavelli—arguably the most misunderstood thinker of all time—fought to change his corrupt world. Since the publication of The Prince five centuries ago, Machiavelli has been associated with political amorality. But that characterization is unfair. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner sets the record straight: far from the ruthless “Machiavellian” henchman that people think he was, Machiavelli emerges here as a profound ethical thinker who fought to uphold high moral standards and restore the democratic freedoms of his beloved Florence. Shaking the dust from history, Benner masterfully interweaves Machiavelli’s words with those of his friends and enemies, giving us a biography with all the energy of fiction. Through dialogues and diaries, we witness dramatic episodes, including Savonarola’s fiery sermons against the elite in Florence’s piazza, Machiavelli’s secret negotiations with Caterina Sforza at the court of Forlí, and the Florentines’ frantic preparations to resist Pope Julius’s plan to over-throw their Republic. Benner relates how Machiavelli rose as an advisor in the Florentine Republic, advancing the city’s interests as a diplomat and military strategist, only to become a political pariah when the Republic was defeated. His egalitarian politics made him an enemy of the Medici family, and his secular outlook put him at odds with religious zealots. But he soon learned to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of foxlike dissimulation. Machiavelli’s masterpiece, The Prince, was in fact a critique of princely power, but the critique had to be veiled, written as it was after the Medici triumphed over the Republic. In Be Like the Fox, the most accurate and compelling portrait of Machiavelli yet, Benner recounts the gripping story of a brilliant political thinker, showing that Machiavelli’s ideas—about democratic institutions, diplomacy, and freedom—are more important than ever.

BE LIKE THE FOX


Author: BENNER ERICA,Fellow in Ethics and Political Philosophy Erica Benner
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141974859
Category:
Page: 288
View: 6958

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LONGLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION NON-FICTION CROWN 2017 'Lively, compulsively readable, fluently written and unshowily erudite' Guardian 'A gripping portrait of a brilliant political thinker, who understood the dangers of authoritarianism and looked for ways to curb them even though independent speech had become impossible' The New Yorker 'A ripping read . . . fascinating, charming, enjoyably unorthodox' Telegraph Niccol� Machiavelli lived in a fiercely competitive world, one where brute wealth, brazen liars and ruthless self-promoters seemed to carry off all the prizes; where the wealthy elite grew richer at the expense of their fellow citizens. In times like these, many looked to crusading religion to solve their problems, or they turned to a new breed of leaders - super-rich dynasties like the Medici or military strongmen like Cesare Borgia; upstarts from outside the old ruling classes. In the republic of Florence, Machiavelli and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to these new princes, or fight to save the city's democratic freedoms? Be Like the Fox follows Machiavelli's dramatic quest for political and human freedom through his own eyes. Masterfully interweaving his words with those of his friends and enemies, Erica Benner breathes life into his penetrating, comical, often surprising comments on events. Far from the cynical henchman people think he was, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of liberty, a profound ethical thinker who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.

Machiavelli's Ethics


Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400831849
Category: Philosophy
Page: 544
View: 4558

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Machiavelli's Ethics challenges the most entrenched understandings of Machiavelli, arguing that he was a moral and political philosopher who consistently favored the rule of law over that of men, that he had a coherent theory of justice, and that he did not defend the "Machiavellian" maxim that the ends justify the means. By carefully reconstructing the principled foundations of his political theory, Erica Benner gives the most complete account yet of Machiavelli's thought. She argues that his difficult and puzzling style of writing owes far more to ancient Greek sources than is usually recognized, as does his chief aim: to teach readers not how to produce deceptive political appearances and rhetoric, but how to see through them. Drawing on a close reading of Greek authors--including Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, and Plutarch--Benner identifies a powerful and neglected key to understanding Machiavelli. This important new interpretation is based on the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli's writings to date, including a detailed examination of all of his major works: The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, and Florentine Histories. It helps explain why readers such as Bacon and Rousseau could see Machiavelli as a fellow moral philosopher, and how they could view The Prince as an ethical and republican text. By identifying a rigorous structure of principles behind Machiavelli's historical examples, the book should also open up fresh debates about his relationship to later philosophers, including Rousseau, Hobbes, and Kant.

Machiavelli and Republicanism


Author: Gisela Bock,Quentin Skinner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521435895
Category: History
Page: 316
View: 6848

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Some of the world's foremost historians of ideas consider Machiavelli's political thought in the larger context of the republican tradition.

How To Read Machiavelli


Author: Maurizio Viroli
Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 1783781203
Category: Philosophy
Page: 128
View: 1656

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Men are infamous and detestable who are destroyers of religion, squanderers of kingdoms and republics, and enemies of the virtues.' Niccolo Machiavelli Machiavelli (1459-1527) is one of the most influential modern political thinkers. His works, above all The Prince, The Discourses on Livy, The Florentine Histories and The Art of War, are still passionately discussed and continue to give rise to new visions of political action. Against the trite commonplace that Machiavelli was a teacher of evil who justified political immorality, Maurizio Viroli shows that Machiavaelli was concerned instead with the best way to attain true glory through political action and that his works were inspired by a profound love of republican liberty. Extracts are taken from the whole corpus of Machiavelli's works, including his personal letters.

The New Machiavelli

How to Wield Power in the Modern World
Author: Jonathan Powell
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1407092529
Category: Political Science
Page: 352
View: 8693

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The New Machiavelli is a gripping account of life inside 'the bunker' of Number 10. In his twenty-first century reworking of Niccolo Machiavelli's influential masterpiece, The Prince, Jonathan Powell - Tony Blair's Chief of Staff from 1994 - 2007 - recounts the inside story of that period, drawing on his own unpublished diaries. Taking the lessons of Machiavelli derived from his experience as an official in fifteenth-century Florence, Powell shows how these lessons can still apply today. Illustrating each of Machiavelli's maxims with a description of events that occurred during Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister, The New Machiavelli is designed to be The Prince for modern times.

Machiavelli's Prince

A New Reading
Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199653631
Category: History
Page: 343
View: 5222

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Why did Machiavelli write the Prince - and why did Church and political authorities find it so threatening? Five hundred years after Machiavelli first told friends that he had written a little work" on principalities, this book tries to answer these questions. It offers a chapter-by-chapter reading of the Prince as a masterwork of ironic writing with a moral purpose: to teach readers how to recognise hidden dangers in political conduct that appears great or praiseworthy, and in misleading promises of quick and easy solutions to their troubles. The Prince uses irony to hint at the problematic character of many princely actions it seems to praise. At the same time, it provokes readers to work out more prudent ways to gain political power and build effective defences. Far from eroding ancient contrasts between good and evil, tyranny and freedom, Machiavelli's unjustly infamous 'little book' suggests that dire consequences ensue when our language and practices fail to distinguishthem. In this lively and engaging new reading, Erica Benner helps readers see beyond surface appearances in the text by learning to identify signs of ironic dissimulation. The book outlines Machiavelli's most important ironic techniques, including the use of normatively coded words to signal praise or blame. Once recognised, these methods provide clues to the Prince's less obvious messages - and help explain why Rousseau and other early readers considered it "the book of republicans.""

Machiavelli

A Renaissance Life
Author: Joseph Markulin
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 1616148055
Category: Fiction
Page: 720
View: 3049

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"The much-vilified Renaissance politico, and author of The Prince, comes to life as a diabolically clever, yet mild mannered and conscientious civil servant in this nonfiction novel. Author Joseph Markulin presents Machiavelli's life as a true adventure story, replete with violence, treachery, heroism, betrayal, sex, bad popes--and, of course, forbidden love. hile sharing the same stage as Florence's Medici family, the nefarious and perhaps incestuous Borgias, the artists Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the doomed prophet Savonarola, Machiavelli is imprisoned, tortured, and ultimately abandoned. Nevertheless, he remains the sworn enemy of tyranny and a tireless champion of freedom and the republican form of government. ut of the cesspool that was Florentine Renaissance politics, only one name is still uttered today--that of Niccolò Machiavelli. This mesmerizing, vividly told story will show you why his fame endures."

Machiavelli

A Biography
Author: Miles J. Unger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416556303
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 416
View: 6645

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Examines the life of the Florentine intellectual, his relationships with contemporaries ranging from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to Cesare Borgia and Pope Alexander VI, his philosophies about power, and the legacy of "The Prince."

Machiavelli's Politics


Author: Catherine H. Zuckert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022643480X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 510
View: 3736

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Machiavelli is popularly known as a teacher of tyrants, a key proponent of the unscrupulous “Machiavellian” politics laid down in his landmark political treatise The Prince. Others cite the Discourses on Livy to argue that Machiavelli is actually a passionate advocate of republican politics who saw the need for occasional harsh measures to maintain political order. Which best characterizes the teachings of the prolific Italian philosopher? With Machiavelli’s Politics, Catherine H. Zuckert turns this question on its head with a major reinterpretation of Machiavelli’s prose works that reveals a surprisingly cohesive view of politics. Starting with Machiavelli’s two major political works, Zuckert persuasively shows that the moral revolution Machiavelli sets out in The Prince lays the foundation for the new form of democratic republic he proposes in the Discourses. Distrusting ambitious politicians to serve the public interest of their own accord, Machiavelli sought to persuade them in The Prince that the best way to achieve their own ambitions was to secure the desires and ambitions of their subjects and fellow citizens. In the Discourses, he then describes the types of laws and institutions that would balance the conflict between the two in a way that would secure the liberty of most, if not all. In the second half of her book, Zuckert places selected later works—La Mandragola, The Art of War, The Life of Castruccio Castracani, Clizia, and Florentine Histories—under scrutiny, showing how Machiavelli further developed certain aspects of his thought in these works. In The Art of War, for example, he explains more concretely how and to what extent the principles of organization he advanced in The Prince and the Discourses ought to be applied in modern circumstances. Because human beings act primarily on passions, Machiavelli attempts to show readers what those passions are and how they can be guided to have productive rather than destructive results. A stunning and ambitious analysis, Machiavelli’s Politics brilliantly shows how many conflicting perspectives do inform Machiavelli’s teachings, but that one needs to consider all of his works in order to understand how they cohere into a unified political view. This is a magisterial work that cannot be ignored if a comprehensive understanding of the philosopher is to be obtained.

Hobbes


Author: A.P. Martinich
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135180792
Category: Philosophy
Page: 266
View: 844

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Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was the first great English philosopher and one of the most important theorists of human nature and politics in the history of Western thought. This superlative introduction presents Hobbes' main doctrines and arguments, covering all of Hobbes' philosophy. A.P. Martinich begins with a helpful overview of Hobbes' life and work, setting his ideas against the political and scientific background of seventeenth-century England. He then introduces and assesses, in clear chapters, Hobbes' contributions to fundamental areas of philosophy: epistemology and metaphysics, in particular Hobbes' materialism and determinism and his relation to Descartes ethics and political philosophy, concentrating on Hobbes' most famous work, Leviathan, and the theory of the social contract it advances philosophy of science, logic and language, considering Hobbes' theory of nominalism and his writing on rhetoric and the uses of language; religion, examining Hobbes' analyses of revelation, prophets and miracles. The final chapter considers the legacy of Hobbes' thought and his influence on contemporary philosophy.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress


Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0440001366
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 6353

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For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" (The Wall Street Journal). Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal responsibility and political freedom. A revolution on a lunar penal colony--aided by a self-aware supercomputer--provides the framework for a story of a diverse group of men and women grappling with the ever-changing definitions of humanity, technology, and free will--themes that resonate just as strongly today as they did when the novel was first published. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress gives readers an extraordinary, thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of Robert A. Heinlein, who, even now, "shows us where the future is" (Tom Clancy).

Montaigne

A Life
Author: Philippe Desan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883393
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 832
View: 2789

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One of the most important writers and thinkers of the Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) helped invent a literary genre that seemed more modern than anything that had come before. But did he do it, as he suggests in his Essays, by retreating to his chateau, turning his back on the world, and stoically detaching himself from his violent times? In this definitive biography, Philippe Desan, one of the world's leading authorities on Montaigne, overturns this longstanding myth by showing that Montaigne was constantly concerned with realizing his political ambitions—and that the literary and philosophical character of the Essays largely depends on them. The most comprehensive and authoritative biography of Montaigne yet written, this sweeping narrative offers a fascinating new picture of his life and work. As Desan shows, Montaigne always considered himself a political figure and he conceived of each edition of the Essays as an indispensable prerequisite to the next stage of his public career. He lived through eight civil wars, successfully lobbied to be raised to the nobility, and served as mayor of Bordeaux, special ambassador, and negotiator between Henry III and Henry of Navarre. It was only toward the very end of Montaigne’s life, after his political failure, that he took refuge in literature. But, even then, it was his political experience that enabled him to find the right tone for his genre. In this essential biography, we discover a new Montaigne—caught up in the events of his time, making no separation between private and public life, and guided by strategy first in his words and silences. Neither candid nor transparent, but also not yielding to the cynicism of his age, this Montaigne lends a new depth to the Montaigne of literary legend.

Really Existing Nationalisms


Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1786634783
Category: Nationalism and communism
Page: 288
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Really Existing Nationalisms challenges the conventional view that Marx and Engels lacked the theoretical resources needed to understand nationalism. It argues that the two thinkers had a much better explanatory grasp of national phenomena than is usually supposed, and that the reasoning behind their policy towards specific national movements was often subtle and sensitive to the ethical issues at stake. Instead of offering an insular 'Marxian' account of nationalism, the book identifies arguments in Marx and Engels' writings that can help us to think more clearly about national identity and conflict today. These arguments are located in a distinctive theory of politics, which enabled the authors to analyse the relations between nationalism and other social movements and to discriminate between democratic, outward-looking national programmes and authoritarian, ethnocentric nationalism. Erica Benner suggest that this approach improves on accounts which stress the `independent' force of nationality over other concerns, and on those that fail to analyse the complex motives of nationalist actors. She concludes by criticising these 'methodological nationalist' assumptions and 'post-nationalist' views about the future role of nationalism, showing how some of Marx and Engels' arguments can yield a better understanding of the national movements that have emerged in the wake of 'really existing socialism'. This new edition includes a new introduction.

The Registry


Author: Shannon Stoker
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062271733
Category: Fiction
Page: 336
View: 5591

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Welcome to a safe and secure new world, where beauty is bought and sold, and freedom is the ultimate crime The Registry saved the country from collapse, but stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained to fight and never question orders. Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous questions. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom. All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Technology and the Virtues

A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting
Author: Shannon Vallor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190498528
Category: Philosophy
Page: 368
View: 3167

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The 21st century offers a dizzying array of new technological developments: robots smart enough to take white collar jobs, social media tools that manage our most important relationships, ordinary objects that track, record, analyze and share every detail of our daily lives, and biomedical techniques with the potential to transform and enhance human minds and bodies to an unprecedented degree. Emerging technologies are reshaping our habits, practices, institutions, cultures and environments in increasingly rapid, complex and unpredictable ways that create profound risks and opportunities for human flourishing on a global scale. How can our future be protected in such challenging and uncertain conditions? How can we possibly improve the chances that the human family will not only live, but live well, into the 21st century and beyond? This book locates a key to that future in the distant past: specifically, in the philosophical traditions of virtue ethics developed by classical thinkers from Aristotle and Confucius to the Buddha. Each developed a way of seeking the good life that equips human beings with the moral and intellectual character to flourish even in the most unpredictable, complex and unstable situations--precisely where we find ourselves today. Through an examination of the many risks and opportunities presented by rapidly changing technosocial conditions, Vallor makes the case that if we are to have any real hope of securing a future worth wanting, then we will need more than just better technologies. We will also need better humans. Technology and the Virtues develops a practical framework for seeking that goal by means of the deliberate cultivation of technomoral virtues: specific skills and strengths of character, adapted to the unique challenges of 21st century life, that offer the human family our best chance of learning to live wisely and well with emerging technologies.

Descartes: A Biography


Author: Desmond M. Clarke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139449847
Category: Philosophy
Page: N.A
View: 8843

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René Descartes is best remembered today for writing 'I think, therefore I am', but his main contribution to the history of ideas was his effort to construct a philosophy that would be sympathetic to the new sciences that emerged in the seventeenth century. To a great extent he was the midwife to the Scientific Revolution and a significant contributor to its key concepts. In four major publications, he fashioned a philosophical system that accommodated the needs of these new sciences and thereby earned the unrelenting hostility of both Catholic and Calvinist theologians, who relied on the scholastic philosophy that Descartes hoped to replace. His contemporaries claimed that his proofs of God's existence in the Meditations were so unsuccessful that he must have been a cryptic atheist and that his discussion of skepticism served merely to fan the flames of libertinism. This is the first biography in English that addresses the full range of Descartes' interest in theology, philosophy and the sciences and that traces his intellectual development through his entire career.

Casanova

The World of a Seductive Genius
Author: Laurence Bergreen
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476716501
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 544
View: 3319

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"The remarkable story of Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798), an impoverished abandoned boy who became the notorious libertine, famous writer, and correspondent with figures such as Voltaire, Louis XV, and Catherine the Great in decadent 18th-century Europe."--Provided by publisher.

Renaissance Woman

The Life of Vittoria Colonna
Author: Ramie Targoff
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374713847
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 1216

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A biography of Vittoria Colonna, confidante of Michelangelo, scion of one of the most powerful families of her era, and a pivotal figure in the Italian Renaissance Ramie Targoff’s Renaissance Woman tells of the most remarkable woman of the Italian Renaissance: Vittoria Colonna, Marchesa of Pescara. Vittoria has long been celebrated by scholars of Michelangelo as the artist’s best friend—the two of them exchanged beautiful letters, poems, and works of art that bear witness to their intimacy—but she also had close ties to Charles V, Pope Clement VII and Pope Paul III, Pietro Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione, Pietro Aretino, Queen Marguerite de Navarre, Reginald Pole, and Isabella d’Este, among others. Vittoria was the scion of an immensely powerful family in Rome during that city’s most explosively creative era. Art and literature flourished, but political and religious life were under terrific strain. Personally involved with nearly every major development of this period—through both her marriage and her own talents—Vittoria was not only a critical political actor and negotiator but also the first woman to publish a book of poems in Italy, an event that launched a revolution for Italian women’s writing. Vittoria was, in short, at the very heart of what we celebrate when we think about sixteenth-century Italy; through her story the Renaissance comes to life anew.

Curl To Win

Expert Advice to Improve Your Game
Author: Russ Howard
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 144343762X
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 192
View: 5326

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The ultimate guide to improving your game—from Canada's most celebrated curler Whether you're stepping into the hack for the first time, looking to improve your delivery or trying to better understand strategy, Curl to Win will help you take your game to the next level. Renowned for his ability to blend the mental and physical aspects of curling as well as his innovative and effective strategies, Russ Howard has written a practical handbook that no curler should be without. Russ draws on his more than three decades of experience as a winning player and coach to explain: Basics—start off on the right foot by picking the right equipment and really understanding how to play the game Delivery—improve your accuracy and consistency with gold-medal techniques and tips Sweeping—sweep effectively by avoiding common mistakes Strategy—form a winning game plan through strategies like making the most of the free guard zone Drills—practise like a pro with Russ's own drills for sweeping, delivery and ice reading Tips and tricks—learn how to match rocks, have a winning mindset, yell "Hurry hard!" and much more Fully illustrated with step-by-step photographs and diagrams, Curl to Win will help you get more out of your game.